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[Column] EverQuest: 10 Things I Miss From Older MMOs

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,643MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Back in 1999, Everquest helped launch the MMO genre.  Nearly fifteen years and twenty expansions later, EQ is still chugging along. With the recent announcement of Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen led by Brad McQuaid, it’s easy to get nostalgic.  In this List, Ryahl takes a Norrathian detour from Final Fantasy XIV.  Join in and see ten surprising things he found in a return to Everquest! 

Read more of Ryahl Smith The List: 10 Things I Miss From Older MMOs.

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“Awkward idle animation or secret to astonishing abs? You decide”

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Comments

  • ForeverdreamForeverdream burkesville, KYPosts: 94Member
    I'd be happy if devs would just give us back those old large dungeon crawls. Many friends were made during those long trips..
  • PallidusPallidus Lancaster, PAPosts: 1Member

    Get rid of non-class based quick travel. *Maybe* do quick travel the way vanilla WoW did where you needed to find the travel points before using them, but that's a big maybe. I think I'd prefer none at all outside of a couple porting classes.

  • MahavishnuMahavishnu BerlinPosts: 336Member

    Fun fact: WoW tried similar things, but the majority of players where overwhelmed by the difficulty.

    -Black Rock Depthsw as a very nice dungeon, that you had to enter several times.

    -Remember when all ogers were elite mobs?^^

    -Especially in the beta some encounters and quests where very difficult. You had to ask for help and to do them in groups. There were even normal open world questmobs that required us to open a raid.

    -A lot of stuff that makes questing etc. easier in WoW now did not exist in vanilla. Some guys wrote addons and in the end Blizzard decided to include them into their game (eg. questhelper,and all raidtools).

    -In vanilla many classes where not polished, but they were much more open to all kind of playing styles, too. Remember tanking with your shaman? Or using pets as tanks? We did so many crazy things especially in dungeons. But later everybody wanted a clear role, so dungeon crawling became more and more dumbed down (although the boss-fights became much better).

    -Today everybody is just crazy. They want to know exactly how they have to play certain classes whith what kind of templates and weapons BEFORE the game has even been released. They talk about endgame etc. before they have made a single step in the new game world.

    Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need.

  • mmoguy43mmoguy43 , CAPosts: 2,447Member Uncommon
    Nice write up. Lots of interesting bits from the old days especially with how the dungeons used to be.
  • albob35albob35 Austin, TXPosts: 19Member Uncommon
    Get rid of mini-maps.
  • NadiaNadia Canonsburg, PAPosts: 11,866Member Uncommon
    EQ didnt even have maps until the 5th expansion LOY in 2003  (added maps and armor dyes)
  • DauzqulDauzqul Detroit, MIPosts: 1,410Member Uncommon

    Great read, Suzie! I agree.

     

    I want to get lost again. Impossible to happen with the modern MMO.

  • RampajiRampaji copenhagnePosts: 50Member

    I miss alot the difficulty from the Old EQ days,

    Where you had to gather a good group, and know the zone, around every corner lurked death and Experience lose if you didnt know what to do!

    I miss Experience lose from dying, that made you actually think about what you were doing!

     

    Look forward to try elders scroll online out. they seem to have some of the old stuff in there, but who knows when the coin is flipped.

     

    thats my 2 cent

    Be the change you want to see in the world.

    - Mahatma Gandhi

  • SamhaelSamhael Huntsville, ALPosts: 700Member Uncommon
    I'd like to play a MMO that use #1, 2, 6, and 10.
  • eric_w66eric_w66 North Richland Hills, TXPosts: 1,006Member Uncommon

    I remember lots of cool things about EQ1... getting that rare drop (FBSS, etc), made it very memorable.

     

    I also remember multi-day dungeon raids in Vex Thal. And that reminds me why I stopped playing ;). Spending 3 hours waiting for enough clerics to show up to raid got old real quick.

  • jimbobfurleyjimbobfurley Nepean, ONPosts: 69Member Uncommon
    Fantastic article .... almost gives one hope for the genre

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  • Dreamo84Dreamo84 Niagara Falls, NYPosts: 3,437Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Dauzqul

    Great read, Suzie! I agree.

     

    I want to get lost again. Impossible to happen with the modern MMO.

    I believe the person's name is Ryahl Smith. lol

    Why is there always someone who thinks every article is written by Suzie? Is there an inside joke I am not aware of? :(

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  • BanegrivmBanegrivm Camp Hill, PAPosts: 194Member Uncommon

    One thing that I feel is missing from modern MMO's is that sense of adventure. I can still remember traveling from Freeport to Qeynos for the first time at low level and how scarey and big the whole world felt. It was pretty crazy. Dodging griffins in the Karana plains at like 8th level was a load of fun. There is no game to date that's come out since that's just had that feeling to it. Another highly unpublicized aspect of EQ1 was the story element that was women into the dungeons, zones, faction hits, quests, etc. Finding out the story was quite a bit of work but alot of fun and made for quite the adventure. Most people for example never even know that Runnyeye was an actual city. If you built your faction up with the goblins you could even get quests there where the loot was even comparable to Plane of Hate gear. It was crazy! Alot of people missed these aspects but the devs had said that only 60 percent of all old world quests had never even been done once.

    One thing about modern MMO's that also annoys me is how linear everything is. That too helps kill that sense of adventure. I don't want my hand held. I want to find out about "something bad" that happened and then be able to just go explore and investigate it all on my own. The quests of "well this dog came and ate all my turnips in my garden" just don't do it for me. I don't care about that. It doesn't make me interested in the story and it definitely doesn't make me feel immersed. One thing EQ got right aside from the story was that it felt immersive. I loved how you could just explore and travel and see all these things. When you were given a quest you had to figure it out and that made the game alot of fun on it's own.

    I remember the historical event with the plague of the Karana's and the witch Azibelle Spavin who was the lover of Mordavin Telase, a bloodsabre who had been put to death by King Antonious Bayle of Qeynos. After which they continued the story line in a quest in game where you effectively had to track down Azibelle Spavin as she was preparing for another round on the city. I had grabbed some friends to do that quest and I remember us all trying to figure it out and putting our heads together to figure out what was going on. It ended with us going down into the Bloodsabre temple in the sewers under Qeynos with a final battle against Azibelle. That alone was one hell of an adventure and one hell of a good time.

    It felt like the RP was in the RPG, like the world was alive. Modern MMO's just feel stale and dead to me. Hopefully EQ Next will feel alot like the way EQ1 was back in the day.

    Banegrivm
    Leader of the 1st Fist of Light
    www.1stfistoflight.com

  • RazeeksterRazeekster Solon, MEPosts: 2,201Member Uncommon
    I'm a huge fan of Vanguard... It sounds like EverQuest may have more of a thriving population though. Am I wrong in this? I'd like to give it a try either way, it's just that it's getting kinda sad to play Vanguard because I'm a role player and there is practically no role playing because of the low player base.

    Smile

  • BadSpockBadSpock Somewhere, MIPosts: 7,974Member

    The era of "modern conveniences" and "quality of life improvements" has certainly removed many of the more annoying aspects of the first generation of MMOs, and has certainly removed some of the soul out of the genre as well.

    It's definitely a trade off between convenience and complexity.

    Many of these things, in one form or another, still exist in the "modern" MMO- you just have to be able to have the patience to dig deep enough and find them.

    Back in the day, you had no choice- you either really took a hard look and figured these things out or you were lost/stuck.

    Now, however, the complexity is more buried and hidden and it only comes into play at the upper echelons of gameplay instead of throughout the entire experience.

  • ThomasN7ThomasN7 87.18.7.148 1, NJPosts: 6,690Member
    The most thing I miss is a sense of community. I miss the days where you can log in and hang with your online pals, level together and help each other out on hard quests to accomplish goals. That stuff doesn't exist anymore.
    30
  • BanegrivmBanegrivm Camp Hill, PAPosts: 194Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Darknessguy64
    Originally posted by pvthudson01
    [mod edit]

     

    [mod edit]

     

    I think the root of the problem is that most people don't understand. Game companies could change this by instead of feeding everything to them, explaining to them how they are played. For example, EQ1 originally was supposed to be a game that emulated Dungeons & Dragons on a large scale. If you asked people when EQ1 launched what that meant most people didn't really understand. Most people nowadays don't understand what role playing means in the context of a role playing game. I can tell you that it's not sitting around speaking in Middle English and treating the game like a chat room. Sure role playing a character is a part of that but it is actually much deeper than that. Role playing in a role playing game is supposed to be about playing your character in the context of the world around you. You do something, the world reacts to it, you can become that hero from an old story or from a movie or you can also choose to become that villain. The choice is yours and the world responds accordingly.

    Bringing me around to my point in question. Many people in EQ missed the story because quite honestly they didn't know any better. Again, at the time most people didn't have much of an understanding of D&D or traditional role playing games. People saw what was before their eyes and under their nose. Leveling and getting that next shiny bauble. When everyone is doing the same thing and people don't understand it's easy for the point or intention to be drowned out amongst the masses. Verant Interactive/SOE could have resolved this by simply explaining to people what the game was supposed to be about. They could have written a tutorial experience that better explained this. They could have put documentation out there on their site, even made it available in game in some fashion. There is alot that they could have done that they didn't do.

    These games that are being asked for that require more of an intelligence to play are easily doable. Instead of however just creating a theme park atmosphere and giving them all a road map and spoon feeding their players they could instead just tell people how the game is played, explain it out to them in terms so that the players understand. The problem here is that requires money. Developers and business men don't want to spend the money on hiring staff to do this. It's alot cheaper for them to build a theme park and then just collect the money. Look at how many MMO's fail. Even those that "fail" still make money. Warhammer didn't do too well at all but they made their money back in spades hand over foot. While it failed, EA made a killing financially.

    Banegrivm
    Leader of the 1st Fist of Light
    www.1stfistoflight.com

  • BanegrivmBanegrivm Camp Hill, PAPosts: 194Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ThomasN7
    The most thing I miss is a sense of community. I miss the days where you can log in and hang with your online pals, level together and help each other out on hard quests to accomplish goals. That stuff doesn't exist anymore.

     

    The last time I felt this was Warhammer. God I miss those days. Community feels like it is all but non existant anymore in games.

    Banegrivm
    Leader of the 1st Fist of Light
    www.1stfistoflight.com

  • RattenmannRattenmann ReitmehringPosts: 510Member Uncommon

    So, any idea on how i can get my GF to play EQ with me?

    I keep getting back into EQ, since no game since EQ ever caught my interest for more then 2 months, most not even for 2 days. I just hate the trend of casual easymode crap.

     

    Just that for some reason my GF is turned of by games that are this old. Part may be the grafics, she does play baldurs gate tho, so... i am really unsure. She just says "no" to EQ :-(

     

    Help me guys lol.

    MMOs finally replaced social interaction, forced grouping and standing in a line while talking to eachother.

    Now we have forced soloing, forced questing and everyone is the hero, without ever having to talk to anyone else. The evolution of multiplayer is here! We won,... right?

  • BadSpockBadSpock Somewhere, MIPosts: 7,974Member
    Originally posted by Banegrivm
    Originally posted by ThomasN7
    The most thing I miss is a sense of community. I miss the days where you can log in and hang with your online pals, level together and help each other out on hard quests to accomplish goals. That stuff doesn't exist anymore.

    The last time I felt this was Warhammer. God I miss those days. Community feels like it is all but non existant anymore in games.

    What rubbish.

    There are likely tens of thousands of guilds in World of Warcraft alone, not to mention all other MMOs, that do these things each and every day.

    Being forced to group versus being more solo friendly hasn't done anything to affect grouping for those who want to and chose to group.

    It's just an excuse people give because their friends stopped playing MMOs or are playing a different game now than them.

  • SlukjanSlukjan Burlington, VTPosts: 251Member Uncommon
    Reading this article reminded me why I liked EQ so much.  If Devs would take some of these ideas and put them in a modern MMO I think it would make them better.  Modern MMOs are just so bland and made for simple minded people.
  • wormedwormed Calgary, ABPosts: 374Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Mahavishnu

    Fun fact: WoW tried similar things, but the majority of players where overwhelmed by the difficulty.

    -Black Rock Depthsw as a very nice dungeon, that you had to enter several times.

    -Remember when all ogers were elite mobs?^^

    -Especially in the beta some encounters and quests where very difficult. You had to ask for help and to do them in groups. There were even normal open world questmobs that required us to open a raid.

    -A lot of stuff that makes questing etc. easier in WoW now did not exist in vanilla. Some guys wrote addons and in the end Blizzard decided to include them into their game (eg. questhelper,and all raidtools).

    -In vanilla many classes where not polished, but they were much more open to all kind of playing styles, too. Remember tanking with your shaman? Or using pets as tanks? We did so many crazy things especially in dungeons. But later everybody wanted a clear role, so dungeon crawling became more and more dumbed down (although the boss-fights became much better).

    -Today everybody is just crazy. They want to know exactly how they have to play certain classes whith what kind of templates and weapons BEFORE the game has even been released. They talk about endgame etc. before they have made a single step in the new game world.

    How is it that you can say people didn't like those things? WoW vanilla was an unheralded success, and although it went away from some of those now-traditional EQ-isms, it was far more difficult, grindier and tougher than its current iteration.

     

    People to this day love vanilla WoW, and abhor almost anything past it. TBC maybe being the only good expansion (imo). The reason why WoW went in the direction it went wasn't because people disliked it, but because they knew the money was in the casual player. The person who didn't want to dedicate effort or time to knowing zones, to having knowledge of encounters, etc. Essentially, they began to design the game for the silver spoon fed North American player and they succeeded. Throw in some high level end game content for the power players and you've got a million player game.

     

    The problem with MMORPG's today isn't that people WANT what WoW is delivering NOW, it's that people have become so accustomed to it, the only people that remember the "good ol days" are the people who actually grew up in the era of EQ. Why would someone who started with WoW know anything different or WANT anything different? Companies need to take the risk and bring MMORPG's back to an EQ level of enjoyment. Yea, EQ was hard... damn hard. It was unforgiving and ultimately wouldn't succeed today. However, that doesn't mean a lot of it can't be "modernized" and modified for today's player.

     

    This top 10 list is perfect because every item is something I hope returns to MMORPG's today.

  • RyahlRyahl Houston Metro, TXPosts: 47Member
    Originally posted by BadSpock
    Originally posted by Banegrivm
    Originally posted by ThomasN7
    The most thing I miss is a sense of community. I miss the days where you can log in and hang with your online pals, level together and help each other out on hard quests to accomplish goals. That stuff doesn't exist anymore.

    The last time I felt this was Warhammer. God I miss those days. Community feels like it is all but non existant anymore in games.

    What rubbish.

    There are likely tens of thousands of guilds in World of Warcraft alone, not to mention all other MMOs, that do these things each and every day.

    Being forced to group versus being more solo friendly hasn't done anything to affect grouping for those who want to and chose to group.

    It's just an excuse people give because their friends stopped playing MMOs or are playing a different game now than them.

    I wouldn't quite call it rubbish.  I agree with BadSpock that community still exists in the modern MMO.

    However, I agree with the assertion of the original statement as well.  The meaning of community is very different today than it was 15 years ago.  Back then my community was the guild and a good chunk of the rest of my server, or at least those who played in my time frame.  This meant that it was common for me to:

    1.  Regularly run dungeon groups with members of allied guilds

    2.  Have three or four allied guilds that always had spots on our raids.

    3.  Had three or four allied guilds for whom I regularly attended their raids.

    Community today certainly exists and thrives, but its far more insular.  From a social network perspective we have far more closed communities than we once had. 

    While the old, wider community was a function of resource scarcity (rare spawns) and open-ended raid caps, I don't think those mechanics are exclusively required to make it happen.

    To extend kind words towards the GW2 community, people who regularly engage in WvWvW on the various servers certainly have a broader community reminiscent of older MMO's.

    To all responders - thanks for the kind and interesting thoughts.  And no, I'm not Suzie. :D

    Ryahl - writer of eye-bleeders
    FFXIV Fansite | TSWGuides
    Follow me on Twitter

  • TisiphoneTisiphone Chicago, ILPosts: 486Member

    Let's see...

    I miss Anarchy Online like mad. That wonderful feeling of hugeness of the sci-fi cities when you walked into them. The fun of building a new character and seeing the campy in-jokes in the starting area. Hanging out with fancy clothes and props with other players. The regular, natural interaction with the admins and volunteer support people and players. There may never be a game that fills that little hole in my heart. The Secret World tried, but it didn't have that level of free imagination.

    I also miss some bits of FFXI - the beautifully engineered multiclass system and the hours of building perfectly constructed macros. And the fun of a really well formed party in a neat locale (even if it took two hours to form).

    I miss the haphazard and sometimes terribly glitchy bullet-time combat of Matrix Online and meeting my crew on the top of skyscrapers and in deserted classrooms at night. And always sneaking in and wondering when Neo would finally wake up.

    I miss the feeling of exploring a new game, years ago. I'm still friends with the first people I met in Guild Wars. I remember what Star Wars Galaxies started out with, and how amazing the grass looked.

    Not playing any game right now because there's really nothing that's catching my attention. I have some hope for ESO... let's hope they get it together.

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  • BloodaxesBloodaxes ZabbarPosts: 2,651Member Uncommon

    I wish more games utilized #1 in their loot system....

    That's one of the reasons I love elder scrolls and fallout single player games.

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